Book Review: Cannonball Coralie and the Lion
Cannonball Coralie and the Lion
Written and Illustrated by Grace Easton
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (The Quarto Group)
Publication date: 19th May 2020
Summary (from Goodreads):
Coralie longs to join the circus but the Man in the Big Hat says her tricks just aren’t good enough. With the help of her new friend, Lion, Coralie realizes she’s perfect just the way she is. A heart-warming story about the friendship between a girl and a lion, this fun, quirky picture book celebrates daring to be different and the importance of standing up for yourself.
First impressions: I will admit that it was the cover that caught my eye at first and I am so glad that I spotted this on Netgalley as I love the illustrations so much. In this case, judging the book by its cover was a great idea! I was also attracted to the setting in the circus (I love books about the circus as long-time readers of the blog will know) and the themes mentioned in the summary, those of friendship, being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
Aren’t the illustrations stunning? Coralie juggling squirrels and doing exactly whatever she wants to do while living in the woods immediately made me smile and endeared her to me. I became even more excited once Lion is introduced as I loved how all he says is ‘Roar!’ but the text explains exactly what he means each time her says it. Lion’s face is so expressive and the friendship between Lion and Coralie is so lovingly drawn that I fell in love with them both.
The spread below is my absolute favourite – look at the expressions on everyone’s faces! I kind of want this as a print on my wall now…
I closed this book with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart. This is a sumptuously-illustrated, warm-hearted book about friendship and being courageous enough to stand up for what you believe in. An essential on every shelf!
What I liked: Stunning illustrations, left me with a warm feeling, the expressions on everyone’s faces – so much expression in just a few lines, Coralie and the Lion’s friendship, Coralie standing up for herself. This is everything a picture book should be and is sure to inspire young readers to be proud of what makes them unique. It’s probably lucky that I didn’t read this before we chose Jellybean’s name or there might have been another Coralie in the world!
Even better if: I had a hard copy as my digital ARC (advance review copy) will expire and I want to share this with my own child and the children I teach! One to add to my wishlist for when I’m next at a bookshop then…
How you could use it in your classroom: This would be a great addition to any library or primary/ early years classroom, especially if you accompany it with soft toys or figurines so that children can roleplay the story. I already have a lion that looks just like Lion in this story, plus a peg doll which resembles Coralie…just need to get a circus tent and a cannon next! If you read this with your class you could use it as a springboard for some PSHE looking at friendship, self-esteem and celebrating differences.
(Thank you to Frances Lincoln – Quarto Group for my e-ARC)
Thanks for reading!